Moving from Stuckness to Curiosity

May 18, 2022

I guess “fear” is the official word of this decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic made us afraid of being in close proximity to anybody not in our family pod. We were made afraid by the constant media loop of the many deaths and hospitalizations of people both near and far. We were afraid of losing our children, elderly relatives, and friends. We were afraid of losing our way of life which was about freedom and routine. That fear turned to anger at a horrible pandemic that stole our normal church life from us.

The signs are everywhere: wearing masks, Facebook viewing of the service, and the loss of human touch and interaction. Fear describes church life at the beginning of this decade. Many of us just feel stuck and don’t know what to do about it.  

We are in good company. But, what if  we invite some curiosity into our stuckness?

In Luke 24, two friends witnessed the death of promised hope on that unforgettable Friday afternoon at Skull Hill. They watched Jesus’ dream of reversing the status quo of Roman domination and Jewish hypocrisy into a kingdom of justice and righteousness exhale his last breath. They witnessed Joseph’s careful process of removing Jesus from the cross.

Crushed hope was a lifeless man who couldn’t deliver on his promises. Deep disappointment traveled with them as they caught the last glimpses of the God’s dreamer sealed in a borrowed tomb. While close friends refused to leave the watch over Jesus, Cleopas and his good friend had to move on. Why stick around? The facts were too much to take by standing still. Both men felt the need for a change of scenery. Their emotions switched from anger, fear, and disappointment.

They were stuck and didn’t know what to do about it and didn’t show much curiosity.

In the midst of stuckness, Cleopas and his friend were looking for Jesus. But Jesus was looking for them. They were walking away from the death of their dreams while the resurrected Jesus was walking towards them. They were out of answers about the future that died on Friday afternoon while the risen Lord sought them out with their questions of dismay and grief. They decided a journey to Emmaus might produce a better outcome than a vigil for a dead man in a tomb. The risen Savior doesn’t wait for our ability to recognize him in the midst of grief, death, disappointment, and lost dreams.

Jesus pursues us on the road with the shocking possibility to bring us into gospel curiosity. It’s Jesus’s constant attempt to coax us into risking what kind of leader he wants to make out of us. The curious Jesus is looking for you! 

Written by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity, CRCNA
Photo: Unsplash